A SHOP worker told a court she had seen a murder victim in Rotherham town centre weeks after she was allegedly killed.
Gary Allen (47) is on trial accused of killing Alena Grlakova (38) on the night of Boxing Day 2018 or the following morning by strangling her and dumping her in a stream in Parkgate, where her body was found four months later.
Giving evidence on Tuesday, witness Lina Grikainyte said she had known Ms Grlakova through regularly serving her in the Eastwood shop where she worked.
On February 27, 2019, the witness told police she had seen Ms Grlakova in the second week of January while driving along Wellgate.
Ms Grikainyte said Ms Grlakova had been walking towards Clifton Park and had appeared “upset”.
Ms Kath Goddard QC, defending Allen, asked: “What was it that made you think she was upset?”
The witness replied: “Because the last time I saw her, she was always upset, always quiet.”
Ms Goddard asked: “On this day in Wellgate, what did you notice about her?”
The witness said Mr Grlakova, who she said was wearing a dark tracksuit, had had her hands in her pockets and had been looking down, adding:
“She just looked like an unhappy person.”
She said she had seen Ms Grlakova for about ten seconds.
Ms Grikainyte, who had worked at the shop for seven years, said Ms Grlakova had often visited the convenience store with two women, one of whom she knew as Lucy, and was always “talking and laughing”.
Ms Grlakova was “nice, quiet and never swore”, she said.
The witness said she believed Ms Grlakova had moved from Eastwood to Masbrough in 2018 and she had last served her in December that year, when she had been with a man.
“Always hands in her pockets, looking down — this was not normal,” she said.
Allen, of Bradbury’s Close, Parkgate, is also accused of murdering Hull sex worker Samantha Class (29) in October 1997 and dumping her in the Humber.
He was tried for her murder and was acquitted at a trial in 2000, however, he is being tried again because new evidence has come to light.
Allen denies two counts of murder.
The trial continues.